Jerry’s Journeys – Temple City – From October 17, 2012 Issue
By Jerry Jambazian
October 17, 2012 • 719 views
Temple City is a great place to live and raise a family. Temple City’s property values are among the highest in Los Angeles County due largely to the excellence of our outstanding, high achieving schools. All seven of Temple City’s schools have been designated as California Distinguished Schools. In my estimation there is a reason families are finding Temple City a place to invest their housing dollars. It is a safe place to live, it has a great form of city government with maintained infrastructure, parks and recreation.
I don’t want to upset our city leaders, but people are not coming here because of our vibrant business district. We have well over 40 vacancies just on Las Tunas Drive. It is not the city’s fault. We have been in a downturn economy for four years. I have used my own customers as a bellwether of the economy.
I have said all this to urge Temple City residents to vote YES for Measure S. I have lived in the Temple City Unified School District for 45 years, 3 years as a renter and 42 years as a homeowner. I have directly benefited from high property values at home and at my business. Our two daughters benefited from a world-class education in Temple City beginning in the 1980’s.
Voting Yes on Measure S will protect high quality instruction in core subjects such as math, science, reading and writing. Yes on S will enable the district to make necessary repairs in ALL our Temple City schools.
Yes on S will update technology in science/computer labs and school libraries to enhance student learning and keeping test scores high. Yes on S will fund safe schools, safety equipment, fire alarms, smoke detectors, sprinklers, door safety locks, safety lighting and fencing. Yes on S will upgrade heating and cooling systems, repair roofs, deteriorating electrical systems and restrooms. Yes on S will remove hazardous materials such as asbestos/lead paint, replace outdated plumbing systems to code.
The Temple City Unified School District is concerned about the health and safety of children during the school day. A major portion of the bond funds will be used to remove the obstacles to creating a better learning environment. The detractors have said that Temple City schools will continue to provide a good education even if the bond fails. I tend to agree only because of a dedicated staff of educators who are committed to providing a great learning experience. Good is not an option. Temple City students deserve the best!
In 2000 the median home and condo value was $233,000. In 2011 the median value was $574,504. What kind of interest have you been getting lately on your investments? If you are lucky maybe about 1%. The value of your home has increased through the years. I maintain that your home took on added value partly because of Temple City’s outstanding school district.
The average assessed value (not actual value) in Temple City is about $300,000 per house. This equates to about $176 per year in increased property tax for 25 years. I am not a math genius, but I see this as a good investment considering my increased property values through the years. The argument has also been made to renters, “If you increase my landlord’s assessment, he/she will raise my rent.” Do you really think a landlord is going to raise your rent because your unit has increased $50 per year?
Of the 88 cities in Los Angeles County, Temple City ranks third in increased value, only behind San Marino and Walnut. The API (Academic Performance Index) recently released the scores of 37 surrounding school districts. Temple City ranked fifth with a score of 901. The State’s target of 800 is considered a minimum standard.
The detractors have argued, “What did they do with the 1998 bond of 24 million which we are still paying for?” Let me shed some light on some of the major improvements.
The 1998 bond included:
• Oak Avenue: Construction eleven classrooms, three science labs, and music classroom.
• TCHS: Two story permanent addition to the 400/500 classroom wing, upgrade science labs and restrooms.
• Cloverly: Completion of two story classrooms with elevator, installation of fire services. Emperor: Construction of two-story building with twelve classrooms and elevator.
• La Rosa: Construction of two-story building providing fourteen classrooms with elevators, new Instructional Resource Center.
• Longden: Construction of two-story building with fourteen classrooms with elevator, demolish former district office.
• CLC: Construct single-story building with two classrooms.
School Districts across all California are suffering from decreased revenues from State and Federal sources. California is 16 billion dollars in the red and sees the school districts as their personal piggy banks to continue wasteful projects.
Earlier in the year legislators in Sacramento dissolved redevelopment agency funds. If the Governors measure does not pass he will institute more trigger cuts to education. Voting YES on Measure S will ensure that Sacramento will not be able to touch any of the funds.
All expenditures will be subject to annual independent financial audits, no funds can be used for administrators’, salaries or pensions. Local control will be provided for all improvements at all schools.
Lastly, an independent citizens’ oversight committee must be appointed to ensure that all funds are spent only as authorized. My, if only Sacramento could say the same thing!
This has been a long process beginning in late 2011. The District held many meetings with site councils to determine the needs. The original project list was over 159 million dollars with a “If you could dream) approach.
With careful consideration to the necessary needs the amount of $128.8 million was presented as a proposition to the voters of Temple City. The Board of Governors of the Temple City Unified School District adopted the proposed bond measure on July 18, 2012.
I am voting YES for Measure S not because my property values have increased. I am voting YES because I am investing in our future. Education is a most important commodity.
Please join me by voting YES on S and Paying it Forward for our future.
See you soon…